Patapon US Release Date Announced

I made this post a couple of days, showing a trailer for Patapon. I really liked how it looked and the game play seemed pretty interesting. Well, Sony announced a North American release date for the game (Feb 2008) today which is totally radical. It also details some game play mechanics I was unsure about. The press release talks about how “drumbeats are used to command the Patapons to march, retreat, attack, and defend”, which clarifies that you can enter a series of commands, instead of being prompted by the game to enter specific commands. Here’s the whole press release:

Patapon(TM) Coming to North America Exclusively for PSP(R)
(PlayStation(R)Portable)

Rhythm-Based Action Blends with Abstract Art to Deliver a Unique New Gaming
Genre to the North American Market in February 2008

FOSTER CITY, Calif., Dec. 11 /PRNewswire/ — Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. (SCEA) announced today the February 2008 North American release of Patapon(TM), available exclusively for PSP(R) (PlayStation(R)Portable).
Developed by Sony Computer Entertainment WorldWide Studios Japan Studio, Patapon is a highly stylized, 2D platform/action adventure game that transforms players into a mystical leader in charge of guiding a tribe of small, quirky warriors called Patapons. Through an innovative use of musical beats, players will march the Patapons against opposing armies and gigantic monsters in an attempt to find the far end of the world. In Patapon, players will encounter a new style of gameplay that blends rhythm and action, where various drumbeats are used to command the Patapons to march, retreat, attack, and defend, all in the ultimate quest for survival and victory. The game presents a variety of warrior types, along with a wide selection of weapons and shield upgrades, allowing each player to customize their Patapon army and strategize for each mission. Using character designs by popular French graphic artist Rolito, who served as chief artist for the game, Patapon introduces a distinctive art style incorporating abstract shapes, vibrant environments, and larger-than-life boss enemies.
“Patapon is a unique experience for gamers of all ages because it combines two key forms of entertainment: rhythm and music, and stellar platforming action,” said Jeff Reese, director, software marketing, SCEA. “Music is a huge part of the PSP’s multifunctional feature set, and we are excited to deliver a new genre of music and action gaming that further adds depth to the PSP software lineup.”
For years the Patapon tribe has lived in the desolate frontier, driven from their home by the evil Zigoton army. Behind the Patapons’ cute exterior, lies a fierce warrior spirit that can only be commanded by the beat of the war drum. They wait for the day the “Almighty” will return and lead them against their enemies, as Patapon legend states the glory of the ancestors will be resurrected when they reach the far end of the world. The wait finally comes to an end as the drums of war are heard once again.
Set among a variety of colorful 2D backgrounds, Patapon unfolds through more than 30 missions with more than 20 different environments, where players are tasked with outfitting the Patapon army, collecting resources, and using strategy to grow the tribe into a devastating fighting force. Incorporating various button-timed drumbeats in real-time to control the Patapons, players will strategically traverse through each environment, battling enemies each step of the way. The game presents a variety of warrior types such as archers, infantry, cavalry, and more that players can unlock, along with a wide selection of more than 100 weapon and shield upgrades, allowing players to customize their forces throughout the funky adventure. Additionally, Patapon features five unique music-based mini-games to earn additional Patapon upgrades. Players will revel in the addictive nature of the game, collecting rare weapons and items, and earning more points to upgrade and amass an army of Patapons.

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